Province should be helping defray Riparian Area costs

Editorial

Tuesday, May 12 2015

The Riparian Area Regulations Development Permit Area bylaws have been passed.

To anyone who has property either in or close to the watersheds now identified as Riparian Areas under the Gabriola Official Community Plan and Land-Use Bylaw - before you do anything, call the Islands Trust office and find out if you need to have a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) come in. 

When you find out how much a QEP might cost for you to put in a garden or clear some brush out for a nice lawn area: make sure to call the current provincial government to complain. This is not the fault of the Islands Trust.

Gabriola has fought RAR tooth and nail for the past five years (and that after delaying the start of implementation for four previous years). The previous two terms of Trustees and their staff have made this as wide open as they believe possible. Any blame (like a lot of things these days) lies squarely at the feet of the provincial government.

Yes - this is about saving habitat important for the spawning of salmon. But it comes at the cost of landowners who (for many at least) unwittingly purchased land which they now have to spend potentially thousands of dollars to be able to put in. So if anyone should be helping defray costs (such as paying for any QEP work that needs to be done) it should be the provincial government.